Sunday, 13 September 2015

UK Gravity Enduro - Ae Forest, 29th to 30th August 2015

The UK Gravity Enduro at Ae Forrest was a Bank Holiday bonanza of riding, it was a total barn stormer with mammoth thigh-busting pedal-to-the-metal sections in between! Round four had everything!

Arriving early on the Thursday meant that I had plenty of opportunity to ride the course before seeding on Saturday. It also demonstrated to me the amount of work that goes into this kind of event, a LOT, big thanks as always to everyone who makes these events happen – they've all been rad!

Now, the stages:

Number 1 was a typical trail centre type course with built up berms and jumps leading into a gnarly freshly cut section which twisted back on itself a couple of times before hitting a tight right hander and then plummeting down a steep descent into the finish. My Manitou suspension really soaked this up and the track was pure delight to ride, you picked up some good speed and really felt it on your face when swooshing around the corners, brilliant!

2 came along with fresh thick mud, roots and a sneaky few bumps and lumps which caught out the unwary, including myself, which wasn't very pretty I admit!  You then flew out onto the fire road for a fairly long sprint until reaching the red trail centre section and then hitting it in reverse. This meant a fair bit of pedalling which tested everyone's fitness. I could see the rider in front of me down here but just couldn’t quite catch the speedy Sally Evame!

Number 3 was a blinder, wow, this is the stage everyone had been talking about. Should I ride it again? I practiced this stage once and once only from the top to the bottom it required skills, flare and guts taking you down through steep muddy twisting switchbacks.  Once I had unclipped I found it impossible to get back into my pedals and fell awkwardly into a massive bush just past a lovely photographer who was shouting messages of encouragement to me, whoops!

Stage 4 came along and proved to be another absolutely epic stage; tight trees, mud galore, few steep drops before flying out onto a nice flowy trail lined some great cheering spectators, it was time to get a bit of stylish air time on my Orange Five!

Finally stage 5, the seeding run and the final run took place on the Sunday and what a mint trail it was!  It had everything, steep loose rocks, rock gardens, fresh cut loam and a great arena to finish into.

Each climb took at least 50 minutes totalling up to a long day on Sunday, five hours on the bike! This took a lot of guts, however we all fuelled by the great encouragement from fellow riders and all of the spectators, it's an amazing atmosphere.

Many thanks to everyone who encouraged me and cheered me on through the rounds, I ended the weekend further down the field that I would have liked after the mud got the better of me, still had an awesome weekend though.

See you all on the hills,

Robyn x

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